Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine.
Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor.
Over the last 15 years these two combinations have shown Buckeye fans the good and the bad of running the two quarterback system in college football. While it’s fashionable and easy to complain about this scenario and point out its flaws as fans of the scarlet and grey we have been, at times, given reasons for optimism. While there were obvious deficiencies with the previous combinations they did produce a Rose Bowl win and a BCS Title Game appearance. Now it would be easy to argue that if the reigns had been fully given to Germaine or to Pryor the 97 and 08 teams may have ended with outright National Titles instead of top 5 finishes, but I’m sure the coaching staffs of those teams could and would argue that without the time share the teams would never have reached their full potential.
With that said we are 5 days away from the Buckeyes kicking off the 2011 season. Going into spring practice and when the team came back this summer the QB position was wide open. Four guys were all competing for the coveted starting position. With a few days left it appears that the Senior Joe Bauserman will be taking the starting job, but that highly touted freshman Braxton Miller will also play a large role in the team’s offense. Essentially, four have been whittled down to two and the coaching staff doesn’t think they will be able to go any further without seeing both in live action. So Buckeye Nation is now staring another season in the face that will consist of the dual quarterback.
In all honesty I’m nervous. I can sit here and go over every negative, and I’m sure as you’re reading this they’re running through your mind as well. But all indications are it is coming. So I ask this question. What are the positives?
Bauserman is experienced and has the confidence of the team and coaching staff that he knows the offense. While he hasn’t looked good in past appearances the fact that he has seen extended work with the first team during this off season so hopefully that will translate into improved performance on the field. Braxton, by all accounts is a special athlete. He could provide the team with a set of skills and playmaking ability that produce some of the best highlights in OSU history. But we have also recently seen a young freshman quarterback be given a starting job early and have it go to his head. So allowing the young man the opportunity to learn from the sideline and continue to earn the job in an extended QB battle may be the character building experience that will benefit Ohio State long term.
If all of this sounds like a fan just trying to talk himself into the upcoming season and remain positive. Well you’re right.